ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona DPS using tattoo recognition technology to identify unknown persons

Aug 15, 2022, 4:25 AM | Updated: 5:47 am
(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)...
(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)
(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Public Safety has used tattoo recognition technology to identify two deceased persons in the state.

DPS’ Forensic Images Unit upgraded the Arizona Biometric Information System to include tattoo recognition capabilities via 1.4 million images from criminal booking procedures, according to a press release.

DPS first used tattoo recognition in June on a case with the Phoenix Police Department.

Police needed help identifying a homicide victim with a gunshot wound to the head and whose fingerprints were not on record, DPS said.

The tattoo recognition software examined three distinct tattoos on the victim to build an investigative lead. Police used the findings to successfully identify the deceased person.

The Gila River Police Department requested help identifying a deceased female who was in an advanced state of decomposition after exposure to the elements on July 21, according to the release.

An images unit detective forensically examined several of her tattoos, examining two in particular which helped identify the subject.

Police were then able to notify next of kin.

The unit has utilized facial recognition since 2016 and continues to research the technology, DPS said.

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Arizona DPS using tattoo recognition technology to identify unknown persons